Sweet Italian Basil and Tomato Pizza


unnamedWho doesn’t love pizza? Sometimes convenience is mandatory, but for the most part, try incorporating a homemade pizza into your “what you can make” stash of recipes. Typically it’s healthier, but mainly it is just plain fun.

Don’t let the dough be your hang up. Either make a quick dough, usually consisting of 5 or 6 ingredients, or buy a fresh made dough from a local grocer.

If you’re short on your time, find a local store where they have a reliable fresh ready to use dough. Glance through the ingredients and look for recognizable items. They should be simple. My go-to dough is a 100% whole wheat fresh made dough that is under three dollars and the ingredients are comparable to if I had made it at home.

However, it’s not all about the crust or dough. It’s about the toppings and keeping them as fresh as possible. For sauce, I often use a crushed tomato or tomato puree and add my own spices and seasoning. 

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I regularly murder my Sweet Italian Herb plant that has shockingly lasted almost a year on my counter top. Typically, I just have at it and it never lets me down. It grows back. Every.Single.Time.

I love having fresh herbs growing. The plants look fragile, but really they’re reliable and durable, standing the test of cooking and they don’t seem to mind the frequent plucking.  

Crispier Crust Tip: When you make your own pizza, always precook the dough for at least half the required cooking time; especially if you use a lot of fresh vegetables like I do.

There will be a lot of water released in the cooking process, so let the crust get a righteous start. If you use a lot of vegetables, let them saute first to release some of the water. No sogginess allowed.

Here is what I do for this particular pizza, but find a style that works for you:

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  • Preheat oven and spread dough out on a lightly oil-sprayed pan. I usually use a large pizza pan or large rectangular sheet pan. Pizza doesn’t have to be in the shape of a circle. In fact, hearts, stars, triangles are all very commendable shapes.
  • I always start with fresh garlic and onions and saute them until they are soft.
  • Once the crust has been baked without toppings, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the crust and cover with the sauteed onions and garlic.
  • Add tomato sauce, part skim mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes and any dried herbs such as salt, pepper, oregano or whatever your favorite spices are. Cook pizza for the remainder of the time and apply your fresh basil leaves before eating. Enjoy!

Healthy.Simple.Colorful.

 

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